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-   -   Sounds and Kotodama (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2377)

Bruce Baker 08-16-2002 01:42 PM

Sounds and Kotodama
 
I was just reading the Voices of experience, and it seems they, the voices of experience haven't a clue as to the vast importance of sounds in the universe.

Let's try this simple test.

The sound Oh. Also know as O sound in Toe, or Go.

Use your best mind set stance, extend your hand, have either two or three people, front to back provide a standing resistence.

First use your best walking, extension that you can muster.

Next use the sound O-O-O-O-Oh, much like a mantra, or as long a breath as you can take.

Now, tell me if the Oh sound did or did not increase the power of your push?

Do you know of any more secrets in the Kotodama?

Bruce Baker 08-16-2002 02:43 PM

For those offended by the statement, " they haven't a clue" I apologise.

But in the context of explaining the practical use of sounds of kotodama, the healing aspects for these sounds, and spiritual insight gained when reciting these sounds, I have seen little more than a historical report on what other people have interpreted.

There are many layers to using these sounds, movement being one of them.

Jonathan Lewis 08-16-2002 03:47 PM

Long Reply
 
Hi Everyone. This is my first, and likely third to last post. (I can only think of two other things I might want to say at some point, unless it turns out I want to clarify something that I did not communicate well the first time.)

An interesting area for study. For the experiment suggested above, I would also suggest adding a variety of other sounds to the list. If they all give the same effect as the suggested "O-O-O-O-Oh" it would tend towards a different conclusion than if there are a variety of effects or degrees of the effect. How about vowel sounds in general as apposed to consonants or mixing the two in different ways, etc.

Terry Dobson used to talk about various exercises in sound while practicing under O Sensei. I don't recall him talking about it at Bond Street but he probably did. At that time, Sensei Paul Kang of Bond Street specified various particular sounds to be made with various specific movements and different sounds on attack versus defense. Sensei Kang is not one to volunteer much spiritual advice beyond "continue to practice" so I never got much explanation from him about the why and wherefore of it.

Terry Dobson on the other hand, did a fair amount of "preaching". At SUNY Purchase, he talked about this a fair amount, but did not give much direction in terms of specific sounds. None the less, we used to practice on our own some exercises he described as given to him by O Sensei.:

1) Practicing KiAi while sitting in seiza in front of a bucket of water. The idea is to make the surface of the water ripple without straining your voice.

2) A variation I made up at the time and worked for me. On overcast days in an open field - shout up towards the sky in as relaxed a manner as possible, with proper breathing. When you get the right sound, coming from the right place in your body, you get a ringing echo back from the sky. This one can fill your whole body with energy and make the world look bright. I believe it works as a kind of purification.

3) Various singing like sounds, with a relaxed throat carried through the full movement of a technique.

Chris Li 08-16-2002 05:48 PM

Re: Sounds and Kotodama
 
Quote:

Bruce Baker wrote:
I was just reading the Voices of experience, and it seems they, the voices of experience haven't a clue as to the vast importance of sounds in the universe.

Probably because there are only two foreign instructors that I know of who have made a serious study of the subject, and neither of them posts around here :). This has nothing against foreigners, very few Japanese spend much time on it either.

OTOH, I would note that both of the people I mentioned above are fluent in Japanese. Kotodama is tightly tied to the Japanese language, and to Japanese mystical texts that are not available in English, so I would be would take commentary on the subject by people not both fluent in Japanese and conversant with the material with a large grain of salt. FWIW, I include myself in that category, not because I am not bilingual, but because I don't have the background necessary to delve into that topic in depth.

Best,

Chris

wanderingwriath 08-16-2002 08:00 PM

If I may ask, are "the sounds of kotodama" and kiaijutsu related? Does anyone know of any English copy of books about Kiaijutsu? and lastly Wherein lies the connection between kiaijutsu and aikido if there is any?

Kevin Leavitt 08-18-2002 05:32 PM

Been reading Bill Gleason's book. The Spiritual Foundations of Aikido. Basically about the kotodama.

I will say this, I had a hard time with it a few years ago. But my current studies and meditations have given me new insights to it.

Not sure I am qualified or educated enough yet on this. But I will say this. there is a great deal of truth to it.

I have read a few books recently on Quantum Physics (believe it or not there is a strong link between the core sciences and concepts like kotodama).

I also have experience through various forms of medidation the power of sounds. (tibetan buddhist type medidation).

I also was watching the praise the lord club the other day. They had a "Scientist" on the show who said he could prove that the world was only 10,000 years old and that the big bang did not occur as we said it did. A great deal of his theory centered on particle physics and vibration of sub atomic particles.

I am not saying if he was right or wrong. Frankly couldn't care. But what I found amazing is that on the core level..he agreed with the basis of "SOUND" (he called it GOD's VOICE)

So, everything I have read or heard seems to point to the basis that sound, energy waves, KI are all inter-realted.

Not sure what all this means, other than it is very interesting to study the kotodama and I definitely think there are some secrets in there.

Like everything, you have the cultural elements that you need to sift through to find the truth and meaning!

Well I have a lifetime, so back to work!

Chris Li 08-18-2002 05:57 PM

Quote:

Kevin Leavitt wrote:
I am not saying if he was right or wrong. Frankly couldn't care. But what I found amazing is that on the core level..he agreed with the basis of "SOUND" (he called it GOD's VOICE)

"When Christ said "In the beginning was the word", that Kotodama was SU. This is the beginning of kotodama."

-Morihei Ueshiba, "Take Musu Aiki"

No comment, except to note that he apparently mistook the old testament text for a quote from Christ.

However, he also goes on to say:

"This SU voice is not the letters transcribed to it in the west, it is a voice that is found only in Japan."

Eat your hearts out, lowly foreigners :) !

Best,

Chris

Kevin Leavitt 08-18-2002 06:57 PM

Not following you at all Chris? Could you elaborate?

Chris Li 08-18-2002 06:58 PM

Quote:

Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Not following you at all Chris? Could you elaborate?

On which part?

Best,

Chris

Kevin Leavitt 08-18-2002 06:59 PM

I guess the whole point? Not sure I am following what you are trying to convey.

Kevin Leavitt 08-18-2002 07:02 PM

Are you simply trying to point out the correlation to the kotodama saying SU was the first spoken word.

And that the Old Testment says that God spoke to create the world?

I think that is what I am understanding?

Chris Li 08-18-2002 07:42 PM

Quote:

Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Are you simply trying to point out the correlation to the kotodama saying SU was the first spoken word.

And that the Old Testment says that God spoke to create the world?

I think that is what I am understanding?

It was a quote from Morihei Ueshiba, he meant that when the Bible says "In the beginning was the word" that the "word" they were referring to was "SU".

Best,

Chris

PeterR 08-18-2002 08:07 PM

Quote:

Christopher Li (Chris Li) wrote:
It was a quote from Morihei Ueshiba, he meant that when the Bible says "In the beginning was the word" that the "word" they were referring to was "SU".

Of course in the original Greek the word used was "logos" which means thought. Therefore we have "In the beginning was thought". No sound there - just silence.

;)

Chris Li 08-18-2002 08:16 PM

Quote:

Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
Of course in the original Greek the word used was "logos" which means thought. Therefore we have "In the beginning was thought". No sound there - just silence.

;)

Quite right - I get the feeling that his knowledge of the bible was pretty rudimentary, hence his mis-attribution of the old testament line to Jesus.

Best,

Chris

Kevin Leavitt 08-18-2002 09:33 PM

Thanks for the clarification guys! I now understand.

Seems to me that there logically there would have to be thought prior to sound, and something to exist prior to both and it should have consciousness in order to exist.

Ahhh, now we are getting into the Koans of Zen!

Kevin Leavitt 08-18-2002 09:35 PM

Also,

are you implying in someway that O'Sensei recognized the concept of Jesus or the bible as a religious ideal?

If so, what responses might he have had toward Christianity?

Would be interested to know what his thoughts were.

Chris Li 08-18-2002 09:40 PM

Quote:

Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Also,

are you implying in someway that O'Sensei recognized the concept of Jesus or the bible as a religious ideal?

If so, what responses might he have had toward Christianity?

Would be interested to know what his thoughts were.

I'm not implying anything, really, it's just a quote. But no, I don't think he thought of Jesus or the bible as a religious ideal other than in very general terms. I would imagine (as we see in the quote) that his experience and knowledge of Christianity was fairly rudimentary.

Best,

Chris

PeterR 08-18-2002 09:41 PM

Kevin Kevin Kevin

This morning as I stumbled from there tatami room there was a terrible noise - no thought involved at all - just sleep induced clumsiness and a misplaced chair.

But yeah very koanish. Is there sound (ie. planets crashing togeather or what not) when there is no life around to hear it. Does a primival slug think when it reacts to sound? Was it the thought that created the planets and that primival slug. This could get real scary.
Quote:

Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Thanks for the clarification guys! I now understand.

Seems to me that there logically there would have to be thought prior to sound, and something to exist prior to both and it should have consciousness in order to exist.

Ahhh, now we are getting into the Koans of Zen!


Kevin Leavitt 08-18-2002 09:49 PM

I quess if you subscribe to the big bang theory, that upon the explosion of energy, sound was emitted that started everything up so to speak!

That sound would cause all the sub atomic particles to start vibrating and you get the whole positive and negative thing going and that kinda drives the whole train!

Was there anyone around to hear it? No.

So at what point did consciousness start?

(Don't expect an answer) It is getting late and I have been running away at the mouth for sometime now so I will leave this alone!

Good discussion though!

PeterR 08-18-2002 10:07 PM

I was having a bit of fun.

Basically the concept of Logos is that before there was anything there was thought. That thought being God which then went on to create light, planets, slugs, and discussion forums.

Of course as a hard core scientist I think there was one tremendous boom (a sound wave is a sound wave - doesn't have to be heard) before there was any thought of any sort. ;)

Kevin Leavitt 08-18-2002 10:13 PM

Cool.

I too am a scientist by training.

But, the more I learn about science, especially in quantum physics....the more I see the truth in concepts like the kotodama.

Stuff is blowing my little mind right now!

Love talking about it though!

Don't know if we will ever find a logical answer for whether God (if there is a god) exisited separate from the universe or maybe he IS the universe?

The way I look at it...it doesn't really matter.

Logic would tell you that if God is omnipotent and all controlling...then all must be god...so how could there be a separate being. God in that sense permeates you and me and everything!

Again, overload has sunk in....good night!

tedehara 08-18-2002 10:21 PM

In the Beginning was ...
 
Quote:

Christopher Li (Chris Li) wrote:
"When Christ said "In the beginning was the word", that Kotodama was SU. This is the beginning of kotodama."

-Morihei Ueshiba, "Take Musu Aiki"

No comment, except to note that he apparently mistook the old testament text for a quote from Christ.

However, he also goes on to say:

"This SU voice is not the letters transcribed to it in the west, it is a voice that is found only in Japan."

Eat your hearts out, lowly foreigners :) !

Best,

Chris

Perhaps Morihei Ueshiba wasn't talking about the Old Testament, but was referring to the New Testament - John 1:1. That was probably the reason for mentioning Christ, because he was talking about the New Testament.
Quote:

Inochin pg 6

...In this state of no name, no form, no number, phenomena of the total a priori universe manifest with the name of U. "In the beginning was the Word" (John, chap. 1) refers to this word...
Quote:

The Book of Do-In pg 126

...1. The prolonged Sound of "SU." This sound is for harmonization in peace between ourselves and all surrounding people and existences throughout the world. In our breathing, we sound "SU" in exhaling, with or without actually uttering the sound. Breathing is an interchange to harmonize ourselves with the surrounding atmosphere...
Quote:

Aikido and the Harmony of Nature pg 30

Symbol of the creator (center) of the universe. This is the symbol for the sound Su, the beginning sound of kotodama.
Logos might be translated as thought, but the primal meaning of logos is word, especially when used in the context of John 1:1.

Chris Li 08-18-2002 10:34 PM

Re: In the Beginning was ...
 
Quote:

Ted Ehara (tedehara) wrote:
Perhaps Morihei Ueshiba wasn't talking about the Old Testament, but was referring to the New Testament - John 1:1. That was probably the reason for mentioning Christ, because he was talking about the New Testament.

That's possible, actually I hadn't thought of that. OTOH, knowing the general level of knowledge of Christianity in Japan, and more particularly the level likely in M. Ueshiba's time it's probably more likely that he had the old testament passage in mind (simply because it's well known enough to be known in Japan). In any case, he didn't cite the reference :).

Best,

Chris

PeterR 08-18-2002 10:44 PM

Re: In the Beginning was ...
 
Quote:

Ted Ehara (tedehara) wrote:
Logos might be translated as thought, but the primal meaning of logos is word, especially when used in the context of John 1:1.

Hi Ted.

A quick phone call to my source on ancient Greek and the near original version of the bible (read my wife who is well versed in both). Logos in modern and near modern Greek can mean speech but in ancient Greek (when the Gospels were written) Logos meant thought. She pointed out that to a Greek Orthodox there is no question that thought is what is meant. Besides way back then who would God have to talk to - nothing was created after all.

OK so this is deviating a little bit from what Ueshiba M. was getting on about so I bow out at least for a little bit.

Kevin: I also enjoy the discussions. One truely memorable evening was a private meeting with the Abbot while I was staying at Simone Petra monestary on Mount Athos. He knew I was agnostic but trying to understand my wifes faith, he also had a brother who was a particle physicist at CERN. To talk to a highly educated man of faith is awsome. Didn't change my view but -- well I still have his personal prayer beads. No I didn't steal them.

akiy 08-18-2002 11:20 PM

On an aikido note, Saotome sensei did some stuff on the "su" and "ah" sounds at the Summer Camp in the Rockies. I remember doing some stuff with the "ah" sound during jiyuwaza (not with Saotome sensei at that time, though) several years back, too.

-- Jun


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